Florida Governor and US Senate Charlie Crist just can't seem to make up his mind about who he is. The so-orange-he-could-outshine-John-Boehner politician has long been a man of shifting values depending on who he's talking to and what political race he is in. Once a rising star of the right, even rumored to be on the short list for John McCain's Vice-Presidential pick in 2008, he now is tap dancing his way through the Senate race to recast himself as a moderate and, at times, a progressive.
Ever since abandoning the GOP after right-wing, tea party favorite Marco Rubio was poised to defeat him in the Republican primary, Crist has been cozying up to Independents and Democrats by trying to deny his record of conservatism and shifting values.
One thing is clear: Charlie Crist just can't seem to keep things straight.
Crist has flip-flopped in the past on so many issues, from offshore oil drilling (against it before he was really for it and now against it again), to taxes (more taxes! oops, I mean less taxes! I mean...), and many others in his quest to be popular to whichever constituency he's courting at the time. His latest flip flop? His daily shifting stance on social issues like the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
I think the current policy has worked pretty well for America. I really do. So I don't know why there's any need for change at this time.
Just three days later, Crist had apparently changed his mind. On Thursday, the Crist campaign issued a statement doing an about face, saying he'd "be inclined'' to support a Senate compromise repealing the discriminatory policy that bars gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military:
Ultimately, as in all military matters I defer to the Pentagon and to the generals and what the Senate is doing today is giving them the ultimate authority to do what is best for our military.
What brought about the complete change in his stance? Which one is how he really feels and would vote if elected: the off-the-cuff answer against repeal or the campaign vetted statement for it? No one knows.
And therein lies Crist's greatest weakness: he can't be trusted by either side because he doesn't have deeply held beliefs, only ones that change with the winds of polls, public opinion, and campaign finessing.
On Monday, Crist said he supported Amendment Two which would constitutionally ban gay marriage in the state. Such unions are already illegal in Florida and Crist has previously shied away from the issue, saying he has a "live and let live" attitude.
He eventually came out against equality by supporting Amendment 2, has supported the ban on gays & lesbians adopting in the state of Florida, and now is all over the map on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." There is nothing moderate about him. And he certainly shouldn't be fairing well with progressives, the LGBT community, and their allies.
Charlie Crist's flip flopping based on his political fortunes makes it clear that he is someone who can't be trusted in the U.S. Senate or with anything he says.